Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 17:17:07 +0000 From: Lynne Murphy Subject: subcategories of people hi all-- i'm working on a comparison of racial labeling and sexual orientation labeling, in which i'm looking at some hypotheses from the cognitive social psychology tradition on social categorization to see if they can be applied to (and thus supported by) social labeling. anyhow... the thing i'm looking at now is the hypothesis that an ingroup will perceive more differences within itself than the outgroup will perceive in them--and therefore have more words for different 'subtypes' of the group. i have lots of examples from the sexual orientation arena. for example, straight people (the outgroup in this case) have very few words for, say, gay men, and what they do have reflect generalizations, not subtyping (e.g., fag, fairy, homo). but gay men have tons of names for different types of gay men (here's what's on my handout so far): Ingroup labels for subcategories of gay men (see also Stanley 1971, Zeve 1993): queen, etc. (fat), Ivy (Indian) bottom ok, so now i want to make the same point about ingroups/outgroups when it comes to race, instead of sexual orientation, considering African American ingroup terms for other African Americans. all i can think of right now (and find while skimming DARE and _juba to jive_) are color terms (high yella/yeller/yellow/brown, nappyblack, etc.). other than 'uncle tom', which is not exclusively an ingroup term, i can't think of any sort of cultural/political divisions, sexual divisions (words for African American women or men, but not both), occupational divisions, or other "types" (career-driven, sweet old granny, whatever). can any of you help me out? the type of word i'm trying to find would only refer to a subgroup of african americans, so it wouldn't count, say, if i had an AAVE term for a police officer if that word is used for both white and black police officers. i hope i've sufficiently explained what i'm looking for. any words or references would be most gratefully received. also, if you want to give me counter evidence to my hypothesis, i'd like to hear that too. best, lynne -- M. Lynne Murphy Assistant Professor in Linguistics Department of English Baylor University PO Box 97404 Waco, TX 76798